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Icon_ Head Start Basics

Active Supervision Basics

Online • On-Demand • 1 PD Hr

Head Start Basics Series:

How do you know if you are keeping all of your students safe and accounting for there whereabouts all of the time? This course will provide an effective model and strategies to ensure you are keeping safety as your top priority through active supervision.


In the early education field, safety is our number one priority, especially with our younger children who are constantly learning through exploration. Effective active supervision practices are key to ensuring staff can easily account for all children at all times, and therefore ensure they are safe. 

This course will define active supervision and explore strategies for staff to effectively implement active supervision during their daily routines with children, such as sleeping, eating, and diapering or bathroom use. Strategies include:

  • Setting Up the Environment
  • Positioning Staff
  • Scanning and Counting
  • Listening
  • Anticipating Children's Behavior
  • Engaging and Redirecting

Active supervision is a proven strategy for creating a safe environment and preventing injuries in young children. Learners successfully completing this course will understand what active supervision is, how to implement the technique, and evaluate their current role and the impact active supervision may have on their work.

Start Date: Available on-demand

Course Level: Beginner

Requirements/Prerequisites: None

Target Audience: Instruction and Effective Practice, Leadership and Management, Parents and Families, Program Operations, Support Services

Course Meeting Times: None

Completion Timeline/Duration: One month

Alignment with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF): This course supports programs in meeting the 1302.47 Safety Practices requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) in which programs must “ensure no child is left alone or unsupervised by staff, consultants, contractors, or volunteers while under their care.”

Course Author

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Dr. Deborah Bergeron

Dr. B served as director of the Office of Head Start from 2018-21. From 2019-21 she broadened her leadership as director of the Office of Early Childhood Development in the Administration for Children and Families. Known as "Dr. B" to former students and teachers, she spent three decades in pre-K–12 public education as a classroom teacher and school administrator. She currently serves as deputy director for Community Engagement and Innovation at the National Head Start Association.

Registration Rates

Regular Rate: $50

NHSA Member Rate: $25

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  • Online, Self-Paced Content
  • 1 Hour of Course Material
  • Video Content
  • 45 Days of Access to Online Course
  • Discussion Forums
  • Digital Badge
  • Certificate of Completion with Professional Development Hours
  • 24/7 Access to Transcript